Francis Chan Tosses His Old Church Under the Bus

Recently, Crazy Love author, Francis Chan, former pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, gave a TED talk-esque sermon to a gathering of Facebook employees. During that talk, he shared his soul as to why he left his “megachurch” seven years ago. In short, he basically threw the fine folks of Cornerstone under the proverbial bus. Everyone there, he lamented, were a bunch of losers who never exercised their spiritual gifts and instead came to watch him perform. Francis effectively models for us the worst shepherding skills a pastor can possibly have.

A Little Background

Francis Chan, believe it or not, is a Master’s Seminary graduate. That’s right, he attended both the Master’s University (formerly The Master’s College) and the Master’s Seminary where pastor-teacher John MacArthur is president. In fact, he was a year or so a head of me in his classes when I began.

He started Cornerstone Community Church in the living room of his house in the early 90s with just a handful of people. Within a short time, the study grew exponentially, and they began meeting in a building. By the early 2000s, Cornerstone had grown to a few thousand members.

Francis is a gifted speaker. He also has a winsome enough personality that he was able to pull together many fine men to help lead his church. I happen to know a few of them from TMS. My wife is from Simi Valley, which is just 20 minutes or so away from where we currently live. Several of her friends from college attended Cornerstone and absolutely loved it. They loved the teaching, the fellowship, and the many opportunities they had for serving.

I personally wasn’t a fan of Francis. He was a nice enough guy and I certainly appreciated his passion. His attempted exposition of the Scriptures, however, was a bit too shallow for me. It was more like topical preaching, rather than expositional. For instance, he would race through an entire chapter of a book in one message, sometimes two, depending upon what he was addressing.

Additionally, the church atmosphere was too causal. I spoke with one guy who visited there who likened the worship service to attending a college retreat every Sunday. There was lots of CCM for worship, and people showing up for church dressed like they just rolled out of bed.

Francis’s Magical Faith Journey

In April, 2010, Francis invoked charismatic whimsy, announcing to the dismay of pretty much everyone at Cornerstone that he was stepping down as pastor.  Clothed in a pair of faded jeans and a tee shirt, he shakily explained how “God was leading him” in a new direction. He was taking his family on a spiritual walk about to find God’s will for his life. See Justin Taylor’s article about it HERE.

Francis wasn’t sure where his journey was taking him. He planned some trips to a few large U.S. cities to “pray and walk” them to find God’s direction. He was then travelling to the third world to hang out for two or three months.

Many popular evangelical commentators weepily applauded his decision, wishing they had his boldness to drastically step out on faith like he did. More sensible believers, on the other hand, thought he was impulsively flying by the seat of his pants.  I thought to myself at the time, “Where in the Bible does God call people to aimlessly wander around in order to find His will?” He was justifying his rash decision to abandon his church by using spiritual lingo. If a year into his journey he crashes and burns, God is to blame because He was the one who called him.

Moreover, Francis expressed a heart for an urban, inner-city environment. I wondered why Christians have such a romantic fixation with the third-world and the inner-city. For some reason, they never sense God calling them to rural Kentucky or Ohio. Furthermore, Francis lived just 40 minutes from downtown LA. If he genuinely had a heart for city work, he should look out his backdoor.

My friend, Dan Phillips, wrote a brilliant, must read blog post warning against a leader exercising such irresponsible, foolish decision making. A pastor claiming God is calling him to wander the earth to find God’s will is ultimately harming the people he is shepherding. He is merely modeling for them conduct that can potentially leads a person to disaster. The comments under that post are also worth the read as well.

The Facebook Gathering

Fast-forward to present day 2017. Thankfully, God conveniently led Francis back to his hometown of San Francisco. There, he now has access to the computer-tech industry and that affords him speaking gigs with folks at Facebook. During his recent talk, he opened up more as to why he left his church seven years ago.

But Chan felt the megachurch he founded was not as God intended it to be.

“I got frustrated at a point, just biblically,” Chan said during a talk in Facebook headquarters in California last Thursday. “I’m going wait a second. According to the Bible, every single one of these people has a supernatural gift that’s meant to be used for the body. And I’m like 5,000 people show up every week to hear my gift, see my gift. That’s a lot of waste. Then I started thinking how much does it cost to run this thing? Millions of dollars!”

“So I’m wasting the human resource of these people that according to Scripture have a miraculous gift that they could contribute to the body but they’re just sitting there quietly. … [T]hey just sit there and listen to me.”

Moreover, he felt the church wasn’t following God’s command to love one another — attendees would simply greet each other for 30 seconds and mainly hang out in cliques once a week.

“I was like, ‘God, you wanted a church that was known for their love. You wanted a group of people where everyone was expressing their gifts. … We’re a body. I’m one member, maybe I’m the mouth. But if the mouth is the only thing that’s working and … I’m trying to drag the rest of the body along, chewing on the carpet …”

The entire article can be read HERE. (Oh. And by the way, be warned. It’s a Christian Post article, which means you will be bombarded with pop-up ads, so have your ad blocker on full alert).

Allow me to deconstruct his comments

– Let’s consider the setting. He is making his remarks to a group of Facebook employees. Now maybe it is a Facebook employee Bible study group, who knows. I find it extremely distasteful that Francis would choose to publicly disparage his former church in the presence of unbelievers, at an organization that has a reputation of hostility toward the Christian faith.

– I happen to know a number of people who attended Cornerstone, and some who still do. It is a gross slander for him to paint his former congregation as a bunch of spiritually lazy bums who only came around to hear him speak. They were all actively involved with ministry. They served one another, as well as the local community. Many people gave their time, energy, and money to further both national and international missions. How he can say they are wasting their spiritual giftedness is a baffling lie.

– He complains they hung out in cliques. You mean like their fellowship groups? You mean with their friends? I’ve heard Christians opine against “cliques” over the years, but what on earth is wrong with a clique?

My wife and I are raising children. The friends we hang out with are other couples raising their children. Both of us were once single. We both hung out with like-minded, single friends. There is nothing shameful or unspiritual about cliques, and Christians should disabuse their wrong thinking about the idea.

Amusingly, the article goes on to report about Francis’s new ministry endeavor he calls, We Are Church. (That doesn’t sound cultic at all!),

There are currently 14 to 15 house churches, he said, and 30 pastors (two pastors per church) — all of whom do it for free. [Heaven forbid a church financially support a pastor full-time – Fred]. Each church is designed to be small so it’s more like family where members can actually get to know one another, love one another and make use of their gifts.

“We’ve got a few hundred people now and it costs nothing,” Chan explained. “And everyone’s growing and everyone’s having to read this book (Bible) for themselves and people actually caring for one another. I don’t even preach. They just meet in their homes, they study, they pray, they care for one another. They’re becoming the church and I’m just loving it and realizing that these 30 guys [are] leading this and the women as well.”

Perhaps I’m a nit-picker, but 14 to 15 small house churches with everyone meeting together to pray, study, and care for each other like a family sounds rather cliquey to me.

– The reasons he gives in his talk for leaving Cornerstone, contradict the vague, squishy reason he gave immediately after he left. See HERE.

– If he wearied of leading a church bloated with spiritual deadbeats, did he not think to bring his concerns before the leadership? Why not address his concerns before the congregation? He could have given a series of sermons that challenged the church to step up their ministry game. Instead, he blames God for calling him away.

– Shepherds generally set the tone for their congregation to follow. If the church was nothing but a massive flophouse for Christian bums, what should that tell us about Francis the pastor?

I will grant that troubled churches exist. A pastor can give his heart and soul to a body of believers who will in the end reject him. I think of Jonathan Edwards’s infamous dismissal from his pulpit by the church he pastored for 20 plus years.

That stated, there is an underlying selfishness revealed in his comments that all pastors will do well to take heed. He complains they were there just to hear him speak. That he had to drag them along “chewing on the carpet.” No one was following God’s commands to love one another.  That is a terrifically narcissistic attitude. It is all about the people serving him, not about him serving the people. May we avoid at all cost the Francis Chan model of shepherding.

For more blogs by Fred Butler click HERE

BEFORE COMMENTING BELLOW PLEASE READ THROUGH THE COMMENTS> THE AUTHER MORE THAN LIKELY HAS ADDRESSED YOUR POTENTIAL QUESTIONS, CONCERNS AND OR CRITICISMS.

 

142 Comments
  1. Richard 4 months ago

    You do a good job of identifying the diseased doctrine that led Francis to do some of the things that he did/does. I’m always amazed by the folks who want everyone to do ministry for “free” when the NT is very clear that a faithful shepherd is worthy of support, and that such an arrangement is actually desirable (see 1 Corinthians 9 and 1 Timothy 5:17-18). Much of that thinking flows from men who really don’t have the kind of love for the church that would lead them to devote their entire life to the work, especially if it meant that they were entirely DEPENDENT upon a local church for their livelihood. In other words, they want autonomy. You can be sure that Chan and others derive a living in SOME way. It isn’t any more virtuous to receive financial income outside the church than it is from the church, so long as you are faithful in your work. The reason I focus in on the financial aspect is because I think it identifies a thread that often runs through the “crazy love” kind of approach to the Christian life. That thread is, “look at me!” “Look at how virtuous I am, how selfless, how disinterested in what everyone else seems interested in, etc.” In the name of being “selfless” they put a big ole spotlight on themselves. Very, very, dangerous.

    • Susana Niyoia 2 months ago

      Jesus himself was never paid to pastor his flock. Go get a real job!

      • Tim Hurd 2 months ago

        Um, do you read the bible at all?

        1 Cor 9:14 … those who proclaim the gospel should get their ling by the gospel.

    • Joe Luis Simental 4 days ago

      I think someone has a problem with the sin of jealousy. Thou shalt not covet. Your way off brother. Chan is the Man. Jealousy does not look good on you. Just saying…

  2. Cris 4 months ago

    This is an incorrect picture of what Francis Chan has shared. He has a plethora of video sermons available online, which make very clear, the point he’s making. If you’d like, perhaps confront him, as a brother, bringing church discipline in a biblical manner, rather than “throwing him under the bus”.

    Perhaps there’s a bias, given his desire to be Spirit led & directed. I know that TMU is not friendly toward that type of thing. (See “Strange Fire” conference materials) I’m quite frankly, shocked at the spirit of this article & don’t see a lot of love there.

    Sure there’s a little more going on here, than meets the eye……just sayin’….

    • David Pauley 4 months ago

      Chris, Chan has spoken in a number of very public forums and therefore SHOULD and MUST be corrected publicly. In Scripture, when Peter was in danger of dishonesty about the Gospel, Paul confronted him in a pubic setting (Gal 2:11-14) because of his influence and impact on others…because what he done was viewed by all, it had the danger of widespread harm to the church…as is the case with Chan.

      The reason why you must not restrict the confrontation to the Matthew 19 pattern is the infectious misinformation that has been distributed to the whole church by bad doctrine and/or dangerous ideologies. What Chan said even infected a few people at the church I pastor. He must be addressed publicly in order to protect the many Christians who may potentially be misled by Chan.

      And no, Chan is not being misrepresented by this article. His preaching is somewhat shallow, it is not true exposition, and his bailing out of his pastoral duties was wrong headed and unScriptural. A sound pastor would have done differently by his congregation, and he failed them. His primary responsibility was to Cornerstone. He has publicly misrepresented them, and instead of shepherding them, he has bailed on them to pursue his own spiritual “journey”.

    • Lynn 3 months ago

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Extremely disappointed by the tone and nature of this article. This person comes across as a judgmental Pharisee, or at best a jealous teenager. He needs to focus on his own relationship with Christ and stop criticizing others.

      • Author
        Fredman 3 months ago

        Lynn complains,
        -This person comes across as a judgmental Pharisee, or at best a jealous teenager. He needs to focus on his own relationship with Christ and stop criticizing others.-

        Why is it judgmental phariseeism to call out a man who is lying against a group of Christians to an audience of unbelievers? You genuinely think it is just aimless, mean-spirited criticism to point out that he is wildly inconsistent with his testimony as to why he originally left his church with the recent talk where he throws them under the proverbial bus?

        • Lynn 3 months ago

          I won’t argue with you. Your words speak for themselves. You need to reexamine your motives. Your heart. You’ve opened yourself up to as much criticism as you’ve dished out. And you’ve done as much damage to the church as you claim he has. Let he who has no sin cast the first stone.

          • Jason A Schnur 3 weeks ago

            Interesting. you claim this man is a pharisee because he publicly calls out Chan, while publicly calling him out. You should be consistent, Lynn. You call him a pharisee, and a jealous teenager. Seems you are holding him up to public ridicule. As well, you don’t even have the decency to address his points, rather you act as if you are above the fray, claiming that you “won’t argue” (then you go on to argue). Stone, meet sinner.

    • ryan york 3 weeks ago

      i agree!

    • Jon 2 weeks ago

      I agree also. The narcissism I see is in the writing of this article.

  3. Author
    Fredman 4 months ago

    Chris writes,
    – I’m quite frankly, shocked at the spirit of this article & don’t see a lot of love there.-

    Really? You seriously don’t think Francis did anything wrong going to a group of unbelievers and talking trash about his former church? Especially stuff that is not true given that I happen to know a lot of the people he claims aren’t spirit filled and using their gifts. Francis slandered them publicly and he owes them a public apologies. Utterly shameful what he did.

    • Cris 4 months ago

      Jesus said that He would spew the lukewarm, of the Laodacaen church, out of His mouth……while Francis shares a different relationship with them, obviously, as their pastor, I think frustration at the lacsadasical church, is a Chist-like attitude, based on scripture.

      Perhaps the many sermons he preached, calling them to action, we’re sufficient in God’s eyes.

      No, I don’t think the tone of this article is kind or gentle, and as such, not in a spirit of love & reconciliation….

      • Author
        Fredman 4 months ago

        – I think frustration at the lacsadasical church, is a Chist-like attitude, based on scripture.-

        Cornerstone was never, nor is it now, a Laodacean church. They are not lukewarm. If that is the idea you are taking away from Francis, that is a lie and slander against them. He is falsely accusing them and he needs to repent.

      • Jason A Schnur 3 weeks ago

        I think you perfectly illustrate the point that Fredman is trying to make. I assume you don’t attend Cornerstone. You listened to Chan’s Ted Talk and took away from it that Cornerstone is a Laodacean church which needs to be rebuked for its laziness. According to Fredman this is inaccurate in the extreme. Yet you took Chan’s word about this body of CHRIST FOLLOWERS as if it was Gospel. You immediately assumed he was right. This is a slander against fellow members of the body who love and follow Christ. You should research things before you comment, and you should repent of your predilection to believe people simply because of their fame.

    • Sean 4 months ago

      Yes!

  4. Gillian 4 months ago

    Enjoyed learning more about this and understanding better why I don’t agree with FC. Only thing I disagree with is the clique breakdown. You may see that word differently, but to me a “clique” implies 2 things:

    1) You only spend time with those whom you think you are best suited to get along with.

    2) You exclude those who don’t fit your cliques specific profile.

    I that I think as Christian’s this is completely unbiblical and against what Jesus did himself in His life’s entirety even by fellowshipping with tax collectors and prostitutes. I understand that of course there will be those who we find closer friendships with and end up spending more time with over others. We don’t all have to be best friends. This however does not mean we should exclude getting to know others or not include others from things because they are different or may not fit our social profile. As one body the church we are to be just that…ONE body, not a bunch of different cliques. Unity should be the goal. Always.

  5. Author
    Fredman 4 months ago

    – 1) You only spend time with those whom you think you are best suited to get along with.

    2) You exclude those who don’t fit your cliques specific profile.-

    If you define clique in our modern vernacular that is found in such movies as Mean Girls and Breakfast Club, I agree. I take clique to mean those people who share values, common goals, desires, and look after one another. Something I have always experienced in all the various “cliques” I’ve been apart of in church.

    What I see Francis doing birthing his new house church denomination is creating a new clique. Eventually, anyone who doesn’t buy into their small groups home church view of Christianity will not fit into their “clique.”

    • Dom 3 weeks ago

      clique
      klēk,klik/Submit
      noun
      a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them.
      synonyms: coterie, set, circle, ring, in-crowd, group; More
      So this is not your definition then? Using a different one?

  6. Javier 4 months ago

    I felt this way for a while about Chan. I figured it was just me, that I was missing something.

  7. Adam 4 months ago

    You can add to this article that Francis Chan took every opportunity to praise himself and his accompliments.

    To that point he literally opened his message by reading a letter that praised himself.

    So I now know Chan is a great dad, a millionaire author, but super humble enough to give it all away, he grew a church from his living room to 5,000, he’s been on the cover of a magazine, he’s a gifted speaker, he called everyone in his yearbook to spread the gospel, and his new home church movement will double every year so it can reach 1.5 million people.

    • Anon 4 months ago

      Food for thought. Who is it, that causes the growth of the Church? God gets the credit, not our pastors. Yes. Pastors are responsible and held accountable but the growth of the actual members of Christ’s church belongs to God alone.

      • Monique Jackson 4 months ago

        Amen! Stop the pissing and moaning you grown adult “Christians”. Seriously, we have wars, political unrest, human trafficking, extreme poverty, wars all over the world and yet you find time to “dismantle” this article on a fellow brother. C’mon!! Get with the Kingdom program y’all! Stop your moaning and groaning, critiquing…leave that for God to do. It does say in the Word that we will be held accountable for all of our actions when it God calls us home. Let him take care of it. Shut up and do Kingdom work. Please. And this is why the world sees us Christians as these “Self-righteous” bigots…lets lead by example and keep our judgemental attitudes and perspective to ourselves and lift up in prayer. Pray for your brother or sister who you feel slighted by! My gosh! IS there even time to feel slighted in the world and times we live in??? I can’t believe these are seminary grads, you all are barking up the wrong tree. Let it go and Let God be God. In the end He wins, in the end if Chan was in the wrong and he didnt do anything to correct his actions then let God be the avenger, who else does it best but GOD!??? Now go be the Church and save some souls and love people to the Cross…let’s be Glory Chaser not Self-Righteous Haters!

        • Author
          Fredman 4 months ago

          Monique complains,
          – Shut up and do Kingdom work. –

          Part of kingdom work, Monique, is confronting liars when they lie against God’s people. Francis is lying against God’s people. So I am confronting.

          • Sarah 1 month ago

            But you’re not actually confronting. If you were confronting, you’d go to your brother and gently and humbly help him onto the right path. Not posting an article that attacks him without ever having a conversation with him or letting him explain himself. I’m going out on a limb here but I think Chan probably knows his parishioners better than you. Your incredibly defensive attitude to those who dare to disagree with you while still holding that you are doing what is biblical is an all-too familiar story among Christians.

        • Jason A Schnur 3 weeks ago

          Monique,
          Are you suggesting that we allow a brother to die in his sin? Are we not to rebuke a brother to bring him in line with the Gospel? Is Paul wrong? Peter? Jesus? Maybe a rethink of your rant is in order, maam.

  8. Amy 4 months ago

    We actually did Crazy Love as our small church group study. Among our group were seasoned Christians, newer believers (like my husband), and a couple that had recently left the LDS church. I remember being really bothered by a few things that we watched in the videos that came with the study. For example, the idea that saving money or having a 401K is displaying a lack of trust in God and his provision in your life. I’m just sitting there scratching my head like, “How is being prepared in the modern world displaying a lack of trust in God’s provision?”. Sadly, the worst part in the video was where Francis discusses a funeral service that he was taking part in . . . .he says that he wondered if that person were even really going to heaven because the individual’s life did not appear to be fruitbearing apparently up to his standards. The LDS couple who were seeking a new relationship with Jesus after being in a cult that works their followers to death in order to display “holiness” and achieve the celestial kingdom by good works were so turned off that they left our small group. I remember my husband having significant anxiety that perhaps we were lukewarm because we weren’t doing it the F.C. way and maybe we wouldn’t be going to heaven. Maybe attending church twice a week in addition to small group, tithing dutifully, teaching VBS every year, volunteering for the meal ministry, homeschooling our children and teaching them Christian theology and doctrine without fail daily for 5 years isn’t enough. . . maybe we needed to turn our house into a homeless shelter and live in a tent instead and do inner city ministry, give away all of our savings so we are penniless, be missionaries in Iraq or at the very least be roadside preachers with pamphlets and signs, you know, practice real life suffering and martyrdom, in order to be saved. . . super CRAZY love style. I said, “Well, if we are called to do those things, then we will know it. Right now, we are called to raise these three kids and train them up in the way they should go. That’s the mission field we are in and we are doing it the best we can.”

    • Isikeli 2 months ago

      Amy, I loved reading your comments. The reason I read this because I only just found Francis Chan and from the first few session I sensed his teaching did not sit well. Then I realised that the reason I picked it up because the word that lives in me showed it to me or showed him up as someone who I need to be weary of. So here is what I could offer to members of his church or those who follow his teachings. Read up the word in your quiet time. The Holy Spirit himself will teach you if you care to listen to Him. Its what Jesus said to his disciples – He will send another to teach us and remind us of what he taught and what he is about. He did not say OK when I leave you Peter will lead and by the way wait till you meet Paul. No both of these stalwart men of Christ needed to be taught by the Holy Spirit so should all of us so called believers. Let Him teach you by you allowing your heart to wonder and ponder scriptures. I was a born again 40 years ago but never understood what its like to be a believer until now- I was busy living my life until he called me to commit to a local church which I am a member now since 2014. I have learnt that He is the best teacher and literally taught me all I know about Him from His word. I go and listen to the Pastor every Sunday or other days just to see that I am learning the same thing. You see when Pastors release the word of God it is for everyone. Some will work for you other times you will leave not getting a thing at all – it means you are well on your way to growing in faith. You are the child of God and He wants to teach you and see you grow and bear fruit. Whether you remain a parent and a church worker or turn your home into a shelter – God will guide you to what He has already have in store for you. Keep praying and reading and asking Him to teach you His word – no one does it better than Him.

  9. Kenneth Steadman 4 months ago

    Don’t have a dog in the fight, as they say, because I know very little about Chan, the church for which he was the formerly sheepherder, or DTWN for that matter. My two cents is this: if you want to use your “historical” definition of clique, ESPECIALLY as it applies to those in a local church, your are sadly delusional. A clique in the local church is indeed “Breakfast Club” exclusionary/same-mindedness that is detrimental to church unity. A clique isn’t always a group of friends. (In fact, some cliques are constituted of people who may not even like each other!) . Ask 10 people what a clique is in a church and you would be hard-pressed to find the “friendly” definition. Just sayin….

    • Author
      Fredman 4 months ago

      Okay Kenneth, if you say so.

  10. Leigh 4 months ago

    I read through your article and wondered what your motive was in writing it? The things you were accusing FC of (and I have barely listened to him, so don’t have an accurate picture of him) seemed that you were doing exactly the same by criticising him and putting yourself in the spotlight as to be the “right” person and sharing on Facebook for all to see. So how is what he did any different than what you did?
    I wondered what your main motive was in writing this?

    • Author
      Fredman 4 months ago

      Leigh writes,
      – I read through your article and wondered what your motive was in writing it?-

      I was motivated by the fact that Francis took an opportunity to lie against and trash talk his old church in a hypocritical fashion.

      – So how is what he did any different than what you did?-

      I didn’t bad mouth and lie against a church in front of a company of unbelievers.

      • Valerie 2 months ago

        You admitted you did not know if they were unbelievers.

        • Author
          Fredman 2 months ago

          – You admitted you did not know if they were unbelievers.-

          Even if they are a group of Facebook employees doing a Bible study, he trashed talked his old church in front of people who are strangers and have no connection to the believers in Simi Valley.

          • SJames 2 weeks ago

            I saw Chan’s FB talk and thought it was his honest view of what the church he started had become. To say he “trashed talked” is regulated to a man’s opinion. To say they were “strangers” is to alienate those who wish to know about the things of Christ and His Church. Your article did seem very much a display of what you did and didn’t like. You didn’t line up whether or not what Chan is/was doing is biblical or unbiblical. Should we measure Chan’s worth according to you, another sinful man who will die? Or shall we measure what he does by the standards of what’s written in God’s Word? I think the latter. I appreciate Chan’s honesty and his willingness to longer profit from the church he started. It finally shows the world someone who resists popular culture and church traditions…..kind of like Christ, huh? Because it has always amazed me that for all the “clout” that seminary school supposedly brings and all the “academic biblical intelligence” these schools produce, why are churches dying? Why are so many churches full of empty hearted people? Why aren’t we seeing a more united front among Christians? Why is there still sexism and racism so rampant within church culture? Obviously seminary school isn’t doing enough to help unite Christians across denominations or church walls. Chan left those walls to become part of His True Church.

  11. Lorna Couillard 4 months ago

    I saw no blaming God from Mr. Chan. He spoke his heart, and I’m sure he expected this kind of response before he ever spoke. This article exemplifies why I, and MANY other’s are done with organized church and religion, of any kind. Jesus is absent.

    • Author
      Fredman 4 months ago

      Lorna writes,
      – He spoke his heart, and I’m sure he expected this kind of response before he ever spoke. –

      Yes. He did speak his heart. Which means he lied about why he initially abandoned his old church. He also lied against what his old church was all about. They were, and still are, a very spirit filled, serving church who love each other and people. Everything he told those Facebook employees was wrong and he needs to apologize.

      • Susan 4 months ago

        You are confusing though. In the beginning of the article, you criticize and say you didn’t care for his church. But then you praise the church and defend them in yiur responses. It seems you folks at P&P dislike anyone well known with successful ministries and grasp at any straw to criticize. Meanwhile, you sit behind your computers churning out negative articles….

        • Author
          Fredman 4 months ago

          Susan states,
          – You are confusing though. In the beginning of the article, you criticize and say you didn’t care for his church.-

          I wrote that I was not a fan of Francis’s teaching (never have been) and that the church was too causal. That does not mean the people there are spiritless bums not doing a thing for the Kingdom of God, and just hanging around to hear Francis.

          – It seems you folks at P&P dislike anyone well known with successful ministries and grasp at any straw to criticize.-

          This is Bible-Thumping Wingnut, not Pulpit and Pen. I have no affiliation with them. May wanna redirect your complaint to them. Can you direct me to the negative articles I am churning out?

  12. Charlie 4 months ago

    We should practice what the the Lord told us to do if a brother sins against us. If you feel that convicted about it your FB page and website have the publicity/recognition to address this directly with him instead of gossiping and stirring up the water. Check Matt. 18:15-17. This isn’t to throw dirt either way. But if FC is in the wrong you are too for gossiping about it.

    • Author
      Fredman 4 months ago

      A couple of thoughts. First, I doubt seriously if I even attempted to contact him about my concern he would even pay me the least bit of attention. Oh sure, he may give a gratuitous “thanks for sharing” response, but he wouldn’t care. In fact, he’d probably respond like a lot of the head-waggers bugged by my post, and say I don’t understand, or my tone was off putting, or some such nonsense.

      Second, his lecture was public. It was posted on his public FB Crazy Love fan page. It’s fair game for criticism. I do not owe him some secret phone call first so as not to hurt his feelings and the feelings of people who are reading my comments.

      One final word. Not sure how you are defining “gossip.” Gossip is talking about someone’s sin, the details of which are not true, or confirmed to be true, or not widely known. Francis sinned against that church openly and publicly for the whole world to see and for his words to hurt and destroy the people who once called him pastor. It may be helpful for you to have a bit of perspective about this.

      • Valerie 2 months ago

        I would be interested in knowing if cornerstone preformed better than national statistics. 20% of the people do more than 80% of the work.

        • Author
          Fredman 2 months ago

          They did. It was a great church.
          However, let’s assume that unprovable statistic was true. That is on Francis. He’s the pastor. If he had this conviction that the church was fighting him like he claimed this summer at FB, why didn’t he do anything to stop it. Where was his input to the spiritual health of the church on those matters? Instead, he failed his church and abandoned them.

  13. Charlie 4 months ago

    Fredman
    It is posted on the FB page which makes it open for criticism, it also opens it up for mis interpretation. Your right reaching out to FC probably won’t get you a response. But I will say this last thing. If Francis publicly sinned against them you privately sin by gossiping about it. If this has truly upset you cause he threw your friends/church under the bus, then you should address him. If he does not answer get more people to reach out to him. If he doesn’t respond to any of your accusations then you can call him out publicly.
    I have no bias because I don’t know either of you.

    Thanks brother for your zeal and passion For the bride. Grace and peace.

  14. Cynthia 4 months ago

    My thought on cliques, and maybe I’m wrong, is that they are good for a church that is overly large. I go to a very small church, everyone is in the clique. But in a large church it is difficult to know everyone, you all can’t meet for coffee at the local Cafe if you have 10,000 going. And shouldering everyone’s burdens in prayer would be impossible. I would imagine having a small group who know you, your family and life would be easier. The burdens you share they will understand if they have a similar burden. Also, and this is where I could be completely wrong, Jesus himself had a bit of a clique with his apostles. There were mainly the 12. They prayed for one another and worked together. They had similar stories and each had a specific reason and purpose for being in the inner circle. Jesus didn’t just allow anyone and everyone to join his clique. They were carefully chosen, right down to the one who would betray him. So the word clique has terrible connotations but the reality is that when it’s used in the right way it becomes a very good thing.

  15. Jared 4 months ago

    As someone who grew up roughly 1000 ft from Cornerstone, had several family members involved early at that church, and was myself exploring making the church my home with my new wife when Francis Chan announced that he was finally leaving… I will say that Freedman is right and even that what FC claimed in that meeting was a self-aggrandizing lie. Make no mistake about it, FC left Cornerstone to pursue a writing and speaking career… a year later… he officially announced he was wandering on to other ministries. After the success of Crazy Love, FC was out of town so much it would have been a stretch to call him a “pastor”. He was speaking everywhere but his home church. I remember one Sunday morning where he was boasting about his speaking engagement in Hawaii that he had just returned from and that he was then traveling up to Northern California the next day and then would be flying back east and would be gone for the next couple weeks… I then leaned over to my wife and joked how grateful I was that he was able to penciled us in today. So he has no right to claim, “And I’m like 5,000 people show up every week to hear my gift, see my gift,” because he wasn’t there for those 5,000 people to hear or see his gift, he was sharing his gift elsewhere and he absolutely loved the limelight he was in at that time.

  16. Steve 4 months ago

    What?!? BTWN posted an article in the name of “discernment” criticizing an evangelical for violating a 2nd or 3rd tier issue with which they disagree? The world of “discernment ministries” (an extra-biblical “ministry” by the way) grows more exclusive and critical by the hour.

    I do not agree with everything Chan teaches or writes … nor anyone else I can think of for that matter. I do respect that in the mega-church world of creating movements centered upon the preaching and personality of a single person (which discernment ministries are also quick to criticize) that Chan believed God was leading him down a different path that took him out of the spotlight.

    My guess is the real issue here is Francis Chan and the fact he is a) a continuationist and b) indirectly associates with some evangelicals with whom the vocal minority in the “discernment ministries” world disapprove.

    I trust Chan walks in step with the Holy Spirit and seeks to follow Jesus. He believes and preaches the gospel. Therefore I trust God is sovereign enough to lead Chan in ways beyond my approval.

    Press on Francis Chan.

    • Author
      Fredman 4 months ago

      Steve writes,
      – What?!? BTWN posted an article in the name of “discernment” criticizing an evangelical for violating a 2nd or 3rd tier issue with which they disagree?-

      Whatya mean a 2nd or 3rd tier issue? He flat out lied against his former church. As I noted in the article, the reason he gave for leaving back in 2010 is not the reason he gives today, 2017. That is hardly a 2nd or 3rd tier issue. He needs to repent.

      Continuing,
      – I do not agree with everything Chan teaches or writes … nor anyone else I can think of for that matter. –

      Do you agree when you hear them lie against something you know the truth about? I hope not.

      – My guess is the real issue here is Francis Chan and the fact he is a) a continuationist and b) indirectly associates with some evangelicals with whom the vocal minority in the “discernment ministries” world disapprove.-

      My guess is the real issue here is that fact you find his aimless leap of faith talk as some genuine work of the Spirit and so dismiss when he really sins by lying against an entire church he started and then abandoned.

      • Steve 4 months ago

        You calling what Chan said a “lie” does not make it a lie. In my opinion, the concerns Chan speaks about with the FB crowd are the same ones he addressed when he stepped down from Cornerstone a few years ago (again using “abandon” language does not mean he abandoned the church – any more than any other pastor who is compelled to step away from a ministry). Back then he spoke of his concerns with churches being built around the personality of the pastor and not the exercise of the complete body of Christ. In the FB speech, Chan was simply addressing his concerns in general and generic terms. He was not suggesting no person was exercising their gifts and that every person at Cornerstone is spiritually lazy. He is painting with a broad brush – what each of us do when speaking of general concerns in a particular movement … like the discernment crowd tends to do when stating their opinion of almost any group outside of their own. Again – I am somewhat surprised this crowd is so worked up over Chan’s transition. They are constantly berating the megas of the evangelical world for many of same concerns that led to Chan’s departure from Cornerstone.

        I can’t speak whether Chan’s transition was an “aimless leap of faith” any more than I can any transition by any elder. So I simply have to trust that his words are genuine and his motive is pure. I have no reason to believe otherwise. I do know he exchanged a very public, nationally-known platform for a season of obscurity and limited publicity which speaks of the genuineness of his intent.

        So press on Francis Chan.

  17. Author
    Fredman 4 months ago

    Steve writes-
    -You calling what Chan said a “lie” does not make it a lie. In my opinion, the concerns Chan speaks about with the FB crowd are the same ones he addressed when he stepped down from Cornerstone a few years ago (again using “abandon” language does not mean he abandoned the church – any more than any other pastor who is compelled to step away from a ministry).-

    Did you watch the video I linked where he was interviewed like just days after he initially stepped down from Cornerstone? Did you even see his original stepping down talk he gave to Cornerstone before it disappeared? Or heck, just read the Justin Taylor blog article I linked about it. The reason he gave then for leaving is not the reason he gave to the FB group. The fact that the Christian Post is reporting it proves it is different information he is giving now than he gave then which means he is lying about the reason he left.

    Continuing,
    – Back then he spoke of his concerns with churches being built around the personality of the pastor and not the exercise of the complete body of Christ.-

    No he didn’t. When? Where? You have any talks he gave from “back then?” I happen to be rather close to this seeing it happened in my background among a lot, a lot, people that I know.

    Continuing,
    – He was not suggesting no person was exercising their gifts and that every person at Cornerstone is spiritually lazy.-

    He literally used the very words, no one was using their spiritual gifts. Did you watch the video from the Facebook talk and did you pay attention? Fastforward to the 36 minute mark where he is being interviewed.

    – Again – I am somewhat surprised this crowd is so worked up over Chan’s transition.-

    Because when he originally transitioned, it was vague, uncertain, non-committal. He didn’t know what the heck he was gonna do. That is not how a spiritual leader is to make a decision. If you were a father and a guy like that wanted to marry your daughter and he was not sure as to why or where he was going in life, I would hope you would tell him to take a hike until he has it figured out. But if you seem to be devoted to his defense, so I can only conclude you like living your spiritually life with such whimsy.

    – I do know he exchanged a very public, nationally-known platform for a season of obscurity and limited publicity which speaks of the genuineness of his intent.-

    He never got obscure. Are you kidding? He was obscure as a pastor in LA suburbia, and if he genuinely wanted humility, he would have stayed in that position. In fact, after his Crazy Love book was a smash, he was rarely in his pulpit. He was speaking all over the world about his book. He exchanged an obscure pulpit to become a very public figure who continues to speak all over the place if you bother to look at his schedule. Especially now that he is running with NAR wolves.

    • Steve 4 months ago

      Okay Fredman – Chan is a liar and wolf. Add him to the “discernment ministries” list of another reformed guy who is a false teacher and needs to repent. Who is not on the list at this point?

      Do you think Francis Chan believed he was the ONLY person in Cornerstone exercising a spiritual gift?
      Do you think Francis Chan believed EVERY person at Cornerstone was spiritually lazy?

      Come on.

      I agree Chan was not crystal clear in his resignation regarding his next step. And I am okay with the vagueness. The pursuit of a next step is not always clear. I also know he has been speaking regularly of the house church movement he is now a part of for a long time. And again, I tend to trust people who have a heart for Jesus, walk in the Spirit, and preach the gospel.

      And we can agree to disagree on whether his chosen path has brought more or less publicity … it is a moot point.

      I will bow out of the conversation … as most of the evangelical world has discovered – it is pointless to argue with wingnuts.

  18. Author
    Fredman 4 months ago

    – Do you think Francis Chan believed he was the ONLY person in Cornerstone exercising a spiritual gift?

    That is what he literally said, Steve. Without qualification.

    – Do you think Francis Chan believed EVERY person at Cornerstone was spiritually lazy?-

    That is exactly what he implied without any qualification. If you take him at his word as to why he left, why not now?

    -I agree Chan was not crystal clear in his resignation regarding his next step. –

    Not crystal clear? He gave two conflicting, contradictory reasons why he left.

    – And I am okay with the vagueness. –

    I’m not. God never mumbles.

    – I also know he has been speaking regularly of the house church movement he is now a part of for a long time. And again, I tend to trust people who have a heart for Jesus, walk in the Spirit, and preach the gospel.-

    The house church movement is rife with people who don’t like church and typically have a disdain for authority and gravitate toward similar individuals with strong personalities.

    – And we can agree to disagree on whether his chosen path has brought more or less publicity … it is a moot point.-

    The dude has his own section in the CBD catalog, along with Joel Osteen and TD Jakes. Are you serious?

    • Steve 4 months ago

      Add him to the list … of course we both know he was already on the list long before his Facebook speech for the non-essential reasons outlined in my first reply.

  19. J.R. Duren 4 months ago

    1) A shepherd leaving his church is not “unbiblical” as some have said.

    2) Your argument is based on your pre-existing distaste for Chan and the word of a few Cornerstone people you know. Hearsay at best; why should I trust your word over Chan’s?

    3) You are calling Chan a list. Point out the inconsistencies in the initial and later reasons why he left.

    4) The NT says the church should support it’s teachers but nowhere does it say you must take a salary, just like it fails to mention that it’s wrong for a pastor to leave his flock

  20. Author
    Fredman 4 months ago

    JR states,
    – 1) A shepherd leaving his church is not “unbiblical” as some have said.-

    That is true. It is not unbiblical for a shepherd leaving his church. What is unbiblical however is:
    A) A pastor leaving his church without any serious plan in place as to where he is going except for the vague murmurings he think is God telling him something. God doesn’t call pastors away from pastoring their church based on hunches and whims without anywhere to really go to.
    B) The reason Francis originally gave for leaving contradicts the reason he states in this recent talk. That’s a problem.

    Continuing,
    – 2) Your argument is based on your pre-existing distaste for Chan and the word of a few Cornerstone people you know. Hearsay at best; why should I trust your word over Chan’s?-

    That is mostly true. I have a distaste for a man who lie to their churches and then go to a group of unbelievers and trash talk them as a bunch of spiritual dead people who let him down. I happen to know A LOT of people at Cornerstone and they will confirm my words here, as many have been doing on my FB posting of this, so you are speaking out of your ignorance.

    Moving along,
    – 3) You are calling Chan a list. Point out the inconsistencies in the initial and later reasons why he left.-

    Those reasons are clearly delineated in the video links I supplied above. Did you bother to watch them? Again, Francis initially claimed that God was calling him to some uncertain, cloudy future. He had to walk cities and pray (That is exactly NOT the way to determine God’s Will, btw). That was 2010. Now he is claiming he left because the people at his big church were spiritually lazy and doing nothing but coming to hear him speak and he was this mouth dragging along this inanimate corpse behind him. That is certainly not true seeing that I know that church and the far reaching ministries it has had in SoCal. See how that is lying?

    Lastly,
    -4) The NT says the church should support it’s teachers but nowhere does it say you must take a salary, just like it fails to mention that it’s wrong for a pastor to leave his flock-

    Yes, you are correct. A pastor taking a salary (Chan gets paid even to this day, btw. He can’t live in San Francisco without money) is not demanded by the NT. If a guy wants to not take a salary, that is his prerogative. However, the Bible does not exclude a pastor from taking a salary and in fact encourages a congregation to support a pastor financially. Additionally, a man who doesn’t take a salary and does the ministry for “free” as Francis likes to boast, is no more spiritual or more noble than the man who is supported by a salary given to him by a church.

  21. Tim Leathers 4 months ago

    I’m sorry I wasted some of my time reading this article. You sound like a jealous pastor of a congregation of 5 whiners that nothing could make them happy. This was a judgemental vial filled article and scripture says the measuring stick you use to judge other will be used on you!! I want to say I am amazed at what Chan has done and to build house churches is probably the way to go. Having a hand full of hungry people would be far better than a building full of sideline sitters. As a pastor I have to admit I’m kinda envious of Chan and his Spiritual GUTS!!

    • Jason A Schnur 3 weeks ago

      Tim,

      I am a Chan fan. “Crazy Love” changed my life, and it made me strive to better my relationship with Christ, which had been on autopilot until that book. Yet I can understand how distressing it is for a spiritual leader to lie about why he left his church. All the other stuff aside, how is it not disturbing to you that he disparaged his former congregation in public, then broadcast it across Facebook, YouTube, his own website (which is heavily trafficked) and elsewhere? He defamed that congregation of BROTHERS and SISTERS. This is shameful. There may be some improvement to be made in that congregation. There is in every congregation. as a pastor, which I find surprising, you of all people should know what a sin it is to betray your flock. Instead of making blanket statements about the “judgement” (while pointing out not one example of such) of this article maybe you should be on your face praying for Chan’s repentance and restoration.

  22. Dan Berarducci 4 months ago

    There are NONE in the world more judgmental than insecure pastors. Sadly, most have been trained to worship their “Bible colleges” and “the traditions of great godly men” (read: super successful mega-church pastors), and run their “churches” as BUSINESSES.
    I am not surprised by this attack in the least.
    The Pharisees attacked Jesus in exactly the same way. Francis is CORRECT; American fundamentalists are “doing church” WRONG. They worshipped TRADITION, and most fundamentalists (i.e., “Bible thumpers”) do also.

    • Jason A Schnur 3 weeks ago

      Gibberish

  23. Shaun 4 months ago

    First of all I don’t like Francis Chan’s materials. Not my taste.

    You say he did all of these things publically so you in turn feel it necessary to publically correct him for his wrong doings.

    Sad really that you feel like it is your responsibility to do so. I could understand if you were part of his leadership team, or even a member of his former church. Who are you to put into question what he feels God has called him to do.

    Grow up.

    • Author
      Fredman 4 months ago

      -You say he did all of these things publically so you in turn feel it necessary to publically correct him for his wrong doings.-

      Yes. When a pastor lies about his congregation publicly, it is necessary to rebuke him publicly for that wrong doing.

      – Sad really that you feel like it is your responsibility to do so.-

      It should be all Christians responsibility to confront untruth and lies being spoken by a supposed pastor when we personally know the truth.

      – Who are you to put into question what he feels God has called him to do.-

      God does not call Christians to lie. He especially doesn’t call a pastor to lie against his former church.

  24. Donkey 4 months ago

    Or, the Holy Spirit has simply revealed Jesus’ heart to Francis regarding rampant Diotrephes/Nicolaitan leaven that He hates so much.

    • Author
      Fredman 4 months ago

      – Or, the Holy Spirit has simply revealed Jesus’ heart to Francis regarding rampant Diotrephes/Nicolaitan leaven that He hates so much.-

      Which was no where in the church that HE PASTORED.
      Of course, if there was that spiritlessness in his church, why is he not to blame? I mean, he is THE PASTOR, right?
      SO instead of praying for revival, he decides to bail on them and do his own thing? Got it. That is how the Holy Spirit leads, I suppose.

  25. Kori Claypool 4 months ago

    I watched his videos and never heard him throw anyone under the bus. He said he felt disconnected. I think home churches are great. I grew up in churches. Nobody getting close to anyone. We are suppose to be a family. I have never seen anyone acting like a family.

  26. Sean 4 months ago

    I agree totally agree with Francis that Church is supposed to be family. And if the head of the family does not like the way his family members are growing up, is it okay for him to abruptly leave them and then complain about their short comings to others?

    Additionally, if your family grows up in a way that disappoints you and they don’t mature at all or fast enough, doesn’t the leader of the family have some blame or responsibility in that failure. It seems that the head of the family should stick around and help lead, train and model for them the kind of maturity they need to reach, especially if he was the one responsible for shaping their character, instructing their hearts, developing their minds and managing their budgets.

  27. Tyler 4 months ago

    Rediculous from the start sir… He was just saying that Cornerstone is a conventional church, and that typical conventional ‘church’ with a head pastor does not lend itself to requiring people to walk in the gifts God gave them, and that Holy Spirit gave him a vision for how to do ‘church’ more biblically.

    • Jason A Schnur 3 weeks ago

      Tyler,

      i saw the video. he did not say that. you should repent of your prevarication. He said they were spiritually dead and that he felt like he was dragging them along.

  28. Author
    Fredman 4 months ago

    Tyler writes,
    – He was just saying that Cornerstone is a conventional church, and that typical conventional ‘church’ with a head pastor does not lend itself to requiring people to walk in the gifts God gave them, and that Holy Spirit gave him a vision for how to do ‘church’ more biblically.-

    Umm, Tyler. You do understand that Francis was the one who founded Cornerstone and was their headpastor, correct? Laying aside the asinine notion that God gives a pastor a “vision” of doing church more biblically and then calls that pastor away from his church, why on earth did he have to leave Cornerstone, the church he, FRANCIS, founded and pastored, in order to do church more ‘biblically?”

  29. v 4 months ago

    You sound clueless.

  30. Stephen Anderson 4 months ago

    Or perhaps God removed Francis Chan for the benefit of HIS Church.

  31. Stephanie Donlan 3 months ago

    Be careful.
    That speck and log kinda thing.

    I once did a road race where the fast runners were frustrated when the slow ones (me) didn’t stay to the right.
    I needed to get out of their way but I still made it to the finish.

    Get out of Francis Chan’s way. He is running his race.
    You can run yours. Don’t criticize him for not going at your pace or you might regret it.

    • Author
      Fredman 3 months ago

      So I take it that you have no problem with Francis lying against the church he planted in Simi Valley? Is that right? As long as he is running a race thing, lying is okay. Got it.

  32. Nikki 3 months ago

    I just prayed for you and the other negative people. Your welcome. A lot of people don’t like truth. It can for sure hurt but I rather have truth because Jesus is truth. Wouldn’t you? Well good luck you all and God bless.

    • Author
      Fredman 3 months ago

      – I just prayed for you and the other negative people. Your welcome. A lot of people don’t like truth. It can for sure hurt but I rather have truth because Jesus is truth. Wouldn’t you? Well good luck you all and God bless.-

      So Nikki, Why is is it being a negative person to expose a man who is a liar? Francis lied against why he left his old church and accused them of spiritual behavior that is not true of their congregation. That is okay with you? Jesus is indeed truth, hence the reason why Francis needs to repent of lying.

  33. David Deppisch 3 months ago

    I for one am thrilled Francis left the church to write and speak– better use of his gifts perhaps. But without this I would never have heard of him and been encouraged by some of his sermons/videos/conference views etc.

    Did he lie? Well I have struggled with why I left my last church– I say it’s because I lived 45 miles away and it was hard as a bi-vocational pastor
    to shepherd, visit, and grow the church. Maybe the truth is I got frustrated with the pace– or lack of shared love within the congregation– or perhaps i just grew weary in doping good.

    But I can’t now remain in the past and beat myself up. I move forward hoping that as God’s mercy and grace envelop me, I will do better in persevering!

    The apostle Paul would’ve kept preaching and travelling — but God in His wisdom allowed Paul to be imprisoned and to write 2/3 of the New Testament! Maybe God has very different plans for Francis– and for all of us.

    When we go against His will, He is able to redirect our paths back to His original purpose and plan.

    • Author
      Fredman 3 months ago

      So David, when after leaving your church (I’m assuming this was a church you planted and grew like Francis did his), did you go to a group of unbelievers and trash talk about them? Talk about how they were all spiritually lazy, just showing up to hear you preach?

      • David Deppisch 3 months ago

        No I didn’t– but looking back, I realize that my weakness in ministry was not being able to look past all the obstacles and look to Christ– had I been more focused on Him and less on my struggle, perhaps I’d still be there making a difference.
        I remember a comment by someone who was criticizing another pastor who had come to a church of about 600 souls– and then “grew” it to 300!
        This pastor simply preached the truth– and as the church was convicted by God’s word– or couldn’t take it– those who were solid in their faith remained.

        It’s easy to get discouraged leading a church– especially when people look to the pastor as the ultimate support instead of Christ.

        I believe Francis is doing some good with his writing and speaking gifts– and encouraging the faithful. Fredman, have you ever lied or been maybe a bit hazy about your motivations for anything you’ve ever done? Have you been criticized, rebuked, or even had second thoughts about an action taken that may have brought someone’s reproach?
        I’m all for truth– and grace. Our Lord came full of both. Perhaps it’s time for allowing Francis to have some grace?

  34. Michael 3 months ago

    In 30 minutes, I will leave to mow a huge church lawn and an additional empty lot being held on for “expansion” purposes. It will take me five hours. I long for a church without a building, building budget, financial team, sound board problems, security team, blah, blah, blah. The only reason I stay at my present church as a deacon is that I am needed. No, that isn’t a presumption on my part. If I leave, the rest of the deacons have to take up the slack. I wish we, as a congregation, could sell this building, this land, and go back to meeting in the cafeteria of the local middle school.

    • Author
      Fredman 3 months ago

      That’s all nice and good, Michael, but how does that justify Francis lying against his former congregation? Just b/c you don’t like a big church doesn’t mean big churches are sinful or not what God intended. Francis is no more doing church “right” as your current church is apparently doing it “wrong.”

  35. Sterling 3 months ago

    What a sad article from an apparently very bitter person. May the Lord have mercy on you brother.

    • Author
      Fredman 3 months ago

      Sterling opines,
      -What a sad article from an apparently very bitter person. May the Lord have mercy on you brother.-

      Bitter? What on earth makes you think I wrote that out of bitterness? Really? How is it expressing bitterness to point out how Francis has sinned against the people he once pastored?

  36. Mike Allen 3 months ago

    My friend you are so so misunderstanding Francis Chan and the tone of which you speak about him as a “liar” is sounding to me like you know the facts and the mans heart, which you don’t, thats why your not God! most of what you refer to a lie are taking what he said out of context and honestly, the very reason he left this church is whats happening in today’s churches, NOTHING, thats why the world can’t see Jesus because most of the churches today are becoming the “Broad road that leads to destruction. You are a legalist and honestly, if Jesus or Peter came to your church today I’m sure they could or wouldn’t be allowed in the door by your standard!
    Today’s so called” Christian” lives “lukewarm” and the church stands by and doesn’t call anyone out of living in sin. If they did the numbers would fall! can’t get to crazy for Jesus!
    Fact, check it out the church has as much divorce, abortion, adultery, drugs, porn, issues as the so called NON believer . Per James H. Burrus Deputy Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative DivisionFederal Bureau of Investigation on with James Dobson recently 52% to as much as (65% per James Dobson) of pastors who call in on Family talks “hot line” for help, call in because of Pornography in their lives at the present time. So the churches are struggling in so many ways because they have become commercialized and wordly. I believe your out of line, Francis Chan is a great example of living Christ. And he left as pastors and friends good leaders and pastors at Cornerstone who wished him well and to this day respect him greatly, so again sounds to me like your on a witch hunt my friend. By the way what are you doing for the Lord? besides winging it from your chair.

    • Author
      Fredman 3 months ago

      Mike writes,
      – My friend you are so so misunderstanding Francis Chan and the tone of which you speak about him as a “liar” is sounding to me like you know the facts and the mans heart, which you don’t, thats why your not God!-

      What is there to understand Mike? In 2010, Francis declared to his church that he had some sort of gut-driven, whimsical feeling about leaving his church. He had no idea where he was going or what it was, but he knew for sure this is God’s calling. So he resigned and went on the traveling speaking circuit.
      A couple of things (And I have already pointed this out for the umpteenth time. Have you even bothered to read my responses here in the comments?): First, God doesn’t call a pastor to leave his flock to wander the earth looking for God’s will for his life. That is not how God has ever led his people at any time during redemptive history. And secondly, he left a spiritually thriving church that loved the Lord and was serving the Kingdom. They were hardly a church on the “broad road” as you assert.

      Fast forward to this year: Now Francis is claiming that he left because everyone at his church were terrible people who were spiritually mooching off of him and by the way he told his story, he was the only spirit-filled Christian at his church. This is an entirely different narrative he told originally AND it is bearing false witness against the people he served for nearly 15 years. Hence the reason why I am confident in calling him a liar.

      As much as you may wish to paint what he did with this sugary spirituality that makes him look like some sort of anointed hero, what he did was despicable and there is no other name for it by lying.

  37. ted myrrh 3 months ago

    Anyone criticizing Francis Chan for seeking God’s will and change shows how little we think of God’s leading. Im proud of francis for NOT following cultural megachurch trendss and seeking to be a true disciplemaker. What a respectable move to give up something you dont believe in at the risk of losing financial security and public approval. Francis doesn’t trust the approval of man…that makes him a godly leader and what makes CRITICAL ARTICLES LIKE THIS trying to shape public opinion rediculous. Imagine if Noah had consulted the community opinion before building an Ark. No doubt he got mocked for building a boat over many many years in a place where there was no water. God may ask people to do things that dont make sense AND THEY SHOULDNT…..because we are sinners and “God’s ways are not our ways” This is why every pastor or christian for that matter needs to learn to deny himself especially in an age where everybody thinks they have a right to comment on someone’s life choices. ITS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. slander and Gossip are sins as well . STOP GOSSIPING ABOUT FRANCIS CHAN AND GO SEEK GODS WILL FOR YOUR OWN LIFE IN MAKING DISCIPLES AND DENYING YOURSELF.

    • Jason A Schnur 3 weeks ago

      ted myrrh,

      “You are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” (1 Cor. 5:5).

      “The Lord disciplines the one he loves” (Heb. 12:6).

      Churches should practice discipline for the sake of loving the individual caught in sin, that he or she might come to repentance (1 Cor. 5:5); for the sake of loving the weaker sheep in the church, that they might not be led astray (v. 6); for the sake of loving non-Christian neighbors, that they might not be confused by a false witness (v. 1); for the sake of loving Christ, that his name might be protected and honored (vv. 7-8).Church discipline is not man’s idea, but God’s. Whatever Jesus meant by “You shall not judge” in Matthew 7, he didn’t mean to rule out loving correction between Christians, as he describes it in Matthew 18:15-20; Paul… takes Jesus’s words seriously and exhorts the Corinthian church to put Jesus’s instructions into practice (compare Matthew 18:20 and 1 Corinthians 5:4). Do we know better than Paul? (See http://www.crossway.org/articles/10-things-you-should-know-about-church-discipline/)

      This article has nothing to do with Francis seeking after the leading of the Spirit and everything to do with Francis LYING and slandering his former congregation. If it is not for the body to correct errant members, then whom? When you accuse a person of slander without evidence you are engaging in slander. Show some slander by Fredman and I will be in your corner. As to your accusation of gossip, when someone makes public statements it is not gossip to discuss the veracity of those statements. It is prudent to call out sin in the body for the sake of the sinner, as well as the body. This idea that we are supposed to ignore sin in the body because it is counterproductive, or mean, or gossip, is antibiblical and antiChrist. Comparing Noah building the ark and Chan lying about his congregation is absurd and possibly sinful in itself,as it makes a false equivalence to obscure sin.. Sin in the body is EVERY CHRISTIAN”S BUSINESS as it breaks down the body. It is obvious by the comments on this blog page how comfortable we as Christians have gotten with turning a blind eye to sin, both in the ranks and outside. Reread your Bible, sir, asking God to reveal his loving heart for the sinner and his desire for us to live a holy life, undefiled by the world.

  38. Abraham 3 months ago

    Abraham
    I have a question for you : Was the angel Rev 3: 14- 21 slandering the church in Laodieca ? Or calling them to repentance publicly in a letter thats been written for some 2000 yrs.
    Could it be possible that FC was feeling the same ? Thats more than obvious it doesn’t seem to be the case with you. According to the way you have chosen is show FC as a Liar & nothing but a Liar who needs to be humiliated publicly having lied to his church and force him to apologize !!! Do you see the error of your ways , or are you going to put on another spin to your self righteous slander about FC.
    Have you written to FC or spoken to him for some clarification re; the way you feel & all the opinions you towards him. Obviously does not look like you have and neither have any desire to. Let me enlighten you the way you need to go about this Mt 18 :15-17…….
    Turn from the error of your ways. If you want to be right with God that is the way ………. but if you love praise from men then you will continue with your tirade against FC.

    • Jason A Schnur 3 weeks ago

      Abraham,
      You sir, are clueless. You point to the “Angel” in Revelation as slandering the church, then go right on to slander. Highlighting a man’s very words and pointing out their falseness is not “showing FC as a Liar” it is pointing out the man’s OWN WORDS. The words are contradictory and false, as attested by Fredman and others in this very comment stream. FC needs to turn from the error of HIS ways, in lying about his congregation. I don’t know how this is so hard to comprehend? A man has lied publicly about the congregation he served. He did it in a self-aggrandizing and self-flattering way. I saw the video. He said his church was spiritually dead, in so many words. (This does indeed call his shepherding ability into question, but I digress). Y’all jump on the person who is connecting the dots, FOR THE SAKE OF THE MAN HIMSELF, as stressed by Paul, Peter, and Jesus. Your ire needs to be turned toward the sinner, so he can be saved from his sin! What about that is so difficult to understand? If this man ( Fredman) loved the praise of men, he could have found no worse way to curry it. Have you read the posts from so-called Christians, calling him every name but the one his Momma gave him? For what? To defend a man (FC) against his SIN. You are enablers and you are doing Francis Chan no favors.

  39. David A Deppisch 3 months ago

    Drop the rock…

    • Jason A Schnur 3 weeks ago

      …on your head.

  40. Julie 3 months ago

    The writer of this article is wrong. I’ve heard Chan talk first hand of his reasons for leaving and it is no where near what the author is saying. He also seems to be bashing Christians. Is the writer of this article suppose to be a pastor? Gosh I hope not!
    Sounds like sour grapes to me.

    • Author
      Fredman 3 months ago

      – I’ve heard Chan talk first hand of his reasons for leaving and it is no where near what the author is saying. –

      So you are saying he has even another story he tells people as to why he left his church? Really? That makes the accusations against him even worse, not better. He is inconsistent as to why he said he left his church, that is a problem, Julie. The man is talking out of two-sides of his mouth.

      – He also seems to be bashing Christians. –

      How do you get that I am bashing Christians? What gives you that impression if I may ask? I am merely pointing out how Francis is wildly inconsistent. He told his church one reason he left and at the FB meeting provides an entirely different reason. Now you are saying there is a third reason? That is a mark of a trouble character.

      – Is the writer of this article suppose to be a pastor? –

      No, I am not a pastor. But what relevance does that have with Francis’s contradictory claims one way or another?

  41. pat atkins 3 months ago

    I can’t believe the narrowness of your heart. Praying for you bro.

    • Author
      Fredman 3 months ago

      – I can’t believe the narrowness of your heart.-

      What does my heart have to do with whether or not Francis is telling the truth about him initially leaving his church and what he says now was the reason? I’m just pointing out this gross contradiction in his story and I am supposedly the hater?

  42. Prince 2 months ago

    Everything is non-Christian about this article. Not even sure what is even the point of such a ‘so called’ ministry.

  43. Author
    Fredman 2 months ago

    Prince writes,
    – Everything is non-Christian about this article. Not even sure what is even the point of such a ‘so called’ ministry.-

    Really? I thought my point was rather clear. Francis Chan has lied about why he left his church back in 2010. My point was to call him out on that fib and rebuke him for throwing his old church under the bus and slandering their character. How exactly is that non-Christian? Please explain.

  44. Aaron 2 months ago

    Heres the thing. This isnt a charitable post. Criticism is necessary maybe for some pivitol doctrinal issue like Tob Bell and universalism….but Chan? I never would have known about this but for your post and it (ur post) does paint a sour picture of Chan. This isnt charitable. Or loving.

    I get the value of truth. Hell im a guy who prefers raw truth over feelings. But thats my weakness…it seems to be yours also. Truth in love must be held equally. Personally i think ur wrong on Chan (my oppinion) but suppose you are right, your article could be framed giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. Thats what love requires – thinking the best of people, erring in their favour rather than against it (innocent until unequivocally proven guilty). It also means not nit picking tiny issues (chan isnt endorsing heresy, nor is the guy sinning- hes giving his opinion). Love is patient remember. It suffers long and isnt easily offended – it covers a multitude of sins.

    In practice it means it should take alot to criticize someone harshly and if u do, do it gently as you would want it done to you. Idealists like you and I need to learn and practice this. Care primarily about fundamentals like gospel. Its hard im speaking to myself also as im a literalist.eg I dont believe in remarriage after divorce for any reason, nor in female pastors, im a continuationist and reformed soteriologically. So most people don’t share my views on all of that. Its a challenge to love and not always nitpick.

    To chan – hes the guy who taught me this. I noticed how he didn’t focus on tearing down the false rather just erecting correct teaching to follow. Criticism makes you bitter and unloving. Like Jesus i encourage you just to preach truth – ie good doctrine (not pointed criticism of others) and as Jesus said my sheep hear my voice and another they will not follow.

    I think Chan is one of the few who holds practically to perspecuity of scripture and reads it plainly and literally lkke me. I appreciate that about him. Regarding his lordship style teaching – in my opinion hes just a consistent calvinist. The new birth produces faith in the gospel and inevitably fruit – as we have a new heart.

    Please edit your article or remove it entirely. Chan wouldn’t write such an article about you. How he dealt with Rob Bell is admirable – he prayed for him and called him before he released earasing hell (his rebuttal to Bell). Thats way more than me – i just called him a heretic and ended up leaving my church for it as many loved and supported bell.

    Chans model is the best model. Very Christ like. Love in method and heart is equally important as truth. I urge u to follow that model. Your lack of chaity in your article driwns out your message (even if you may have a valid point) – i personally think you dont. Charity and truth. Easy lip service but harder to model.

    • Author
      Fredman 2 months ago

      Aaron complains
      – Heres the thing. This isnt a charitable post. Criticism is necessary maybe for some pivitol doctrinal issue like Tob Bell and universalism….but Chan? I never would have known about this but for your post and it (ur post) does paint a sour picture of Chan. This isnt charitable. Or loving.-

      On the contrary, I believe I was being rather charitable. Particularly charitable toward the good people of Cornerstone Church against whom Francis lied when he told the the reason he left in 2010 and the reason he now tells a Facebook lecture group. It should leave a sour picture of Chan, because out right lying against people and slandering their character is a sour thing to do.

      – Personally i think ur wrong on Chan (my oppinion) but suppose you are right, your article could be framed giving the guy the benefit of the doubt.-

      There is no doubt at all. He told his church one reason he was abandoning them in 2010 and then totally contradicted himself this past summer at a FB event. What benefit of the doubt am I to give to a flat out lie.

      – It also means not nit picking tiny issues (chan isnt endorsing heresy, nor is the guy sinning- hes giving his opinion).-

      An alleged pastor of some esoteric life group organization lying about his former Christian friends and church is not a tiny issue.

      – In practice it means it should take alot to criticize someone harshly and if u do, do it gently as you would want it done to you. –

      If I was caught in a bold face public lie like Chan, I hope that someone would criticize me and show me how I was a liar so I could repent.

      – Please edit your article or remove it entirely. Chan wouldn’t write such an article about you.-

      That will happen if Chan public repents for the slander against his former church. In fact, I’ll even write a follow up highlighting it. At this point, I am not holding my breath.

  45. joe 2 months ago

    People are mad at Francis because he’s speaking the truth. It’s not enough to believeThe fact of the matter is the majority of so-called Christians are going to hell according to the Bible. Jesus said Broad and wide is the road that leads to destruction. The church in America is a joke and it is lukewarm because the church in America’s true God is money. you guys are angry because you refuse to crucify your flesh and take up your cross and only one in your cushy Christian messages was make you feel good. you don’t love your neighbor as yourself because your Money is your God and it’s undeniable because the proof is in your actions.

    True Christians obey the word of God , not just listen to it, 99% of the Christians in America are frauds because they just want to sit there but in church and feel good about ourselves and think just because they have the so-called correct theology, there going to heaven, If you are not obeying God’s word on a daily basis and living the Bible you’re going straight to hell according to the Bible.

    Right now as you are reading this your flesh is rising up against this message because of the evil in your hearts be the love of money in your hearts. you guys think you’re better than everyone because you’re not homosexuals, you are worse than homosexuals because your are greedy idolaters who’s god is money. this is proven by everything that comes out of your mouth and the way you live your lives. Christ was crucified and suffered on the cross for you and you won’t even part with your precious money and help those in need because you are servants of your God which is money

    Ezekiel 16:49

    Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
    ————————————————————
    Ezekiel 33:31

    My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.
    ————————————————————
    Isaiah 57:17

    I was enraged by their sinful GREED; I punished them, and hid my face in anger, yet they kept on in their willful ways.
    ————————————————————
    Isaiah 58:5-14

    “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him?
    ————————————————————
    Jeremiah 6:13
    For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is GREEDY for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.
    ————————————————————
    Jeremiah 8:10

    Therefore I will give their wives to other men and their fields to new owners. From the least to the greatest, all are GREEDY for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.
    ————————————————————
    Matthew 5:42

    Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
    ————————————————————
    Matthew 6:24

    No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
    ————————————————————
    Mark 7:20-23

    And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, GREED, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
    ————————————————————
    Luke 6:30

    Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
    ————————————————————
    Luke 12:33

    Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
    ————————————————————
    Titus 1:16

    They claim to know God, but they deny him by their actions.
    ————————————————————
    James 1:22

    Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
    ————————————————————
    James 2:14-18

    What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
    ————————————————-
    Titus 1:16

    They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.
    ————————————————————
    Ephesians 5:3-5

    For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is GREEDY (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
    ————————————————————
    Galatians 5:19-21

    Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, GREED, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    ————————————————————-
    1 John 3:16-18

    This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
    ————————————————————
    Colossians 3:5

    Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and GREED, which is idolatry.

    • Author
      Fredman 2 months ago

      Joe opines,
      – The church in America is a joke and it is lukewarm because the church in America’s true God is money.-

      I am not talking about the “church in America.” I am talking about Cornerstone church in Simi Valley where Francis pastored several years. That church was the exact opposite this stereotypical church you are painting with your comment.

      – True Christians obey the word of God , not just listen to it,-

      The church in question obeyed the Word of God. Francis taught them as much. I am not sure you know what you are talking about.

      – Christ was crucified and suffered on the cross for you and you won’t even part with your precious money and help those in need because you are servants of your God which is money-

      I am wondering if you have the right blog to yell at. No one here is asking for money or loving money. What on earth?

      Then finally, all the passages you cite and quote are out of context and irrelevant to this discussion.

  46. MC 2 months ago

    The author of this article comments that somebody mentioned that Francis Chan’s services are “too casual”, like a youth retreat. He made it sound like a criticism? Really? I have attended churches where people dressed up for church and now attend a church where the atmosphere is casual. I’ve experienced God in both types of services, including through the people who attended. I don’t see how one dresses as a relevant factor whether God will be there or not. Did Jesus and his disciples dressed up every time he gave a sermon? Did the sinners, prostitutes, poor folks who suffered from leprosy put on their ties and dresses to go meet him? God made it clear, he looks into the hearts of people, not on the outside. Has the American church really lost its touch with God?

    • Author
      Fredman 2 months ago

      Sure. Why even get dressed for church. Let’s all just wear our pajamas and flipflops. God looks at the heart, right?

  47. Peter 2 months ago

    ” I thought to myself at the time, “Where in the Bible does God call people to aimlessly wander around in order to find His will?” ”

    – Remember Abraham? God told him to pack up and set out on a Journey. No idea where he was headed. He only got there because of Obedience
    – Remember Paul and Barnabas who moved by the Spirit of God to start an itinerant ministry?
    – Remember Philip who God told to take a particular route through the desert? He preached to the Ethiopian official who received salvation after a single conversation.

    “those who are Led by the Spirit – THEY are the sons of God”

    Instances these make me take a little step back from criticizing people who assert that God led them to do a certain thing. In the end, God will judge all his servants and reward them accordingly.

    I appreciate your concern for brother Chan. I could be wrong but the tone of your article is rather angry… is this coming from a place of love? “Seasoned with salt”? Would an unbeliever reading this be convinced of the Love of God?

  48. Author
    Fredman 2 months ago

    Peter writes,
    – Remember Abraham? God told him to pack up and set out on a Journey. No idea where he was headed. He only got there because of Obedience-

    No. Read your Bible. God told Abraham specifically where he was taking him. Abraham didn’t depart on a journey on a whimsy unsure where God was leading.

    – Remember Paul and Barnabas who moved by the Spirit of God to start an itinerant ministry?-

    They didn’t “start” an itinerant ministry. They were sent by the church in Antioch. Read the account in Acts 11:19ff.

    – Remember Philip who God told to take a particular route through the desert? He preached to the Ethiopian official who received salvation after a single conversation.-

    Yes. God told him. God specifically told him the route to take through the desert. He didn’t have to go wandering around trying to determine the will of God. God told him clearly.

    To liken these examples to Francis abandoning his church to fulfill his own selfish desires is absurd. It dishonors the Word of God.

    And believe me, my article is very much coming from a place of love. I love truth and refuse to traffick in lies.

  49. Mark Truitt 2 months ago

    Here is my comment. I understand your approach of calling Francis Chan out. If there is something to call out I agree that it should be called out. I understand you think that he lied but I would like present a different perspective.

    If he genuinely felt that he was not seeing a vast majority of his church (as you put it) serve the Lord in a real way. I’m sure he felt God telling him that he was not called to that ministry any longer. Your attesting to the fact that the church is healthy is belied by your description of the people attending like they just woke up and in blue jeans. Your criticism of his preaching style is not surprising because as a pastor, I often do not like other preachers. However, their style is not more right than yours. In fact, I could make the case that the originals were meant to be read in one reading, rather than poring every word of every verse. But I digress. Back to Chan. Saying in 2010 that you feel God is calling you to step down and that you feel like you need to walk around some cities to get a better understanding of what God wants for you is not wrong. It may not fit your narrative, and it may not fit the “Biblical” model in your opinion. But Jesus pretty much walked around for 3 and a half years, teaching. And as you have clearly stated, he has continued to speak. Then saying 7 years later that he felt the church was as a whole was unhealthy and that the house churches that he is now starting are more healthy is not a lie or even a contradiction. He wanted to leave the church in the hands of those who have continued to work in it, and likely spent time searching the face of God to determine whether his thinking and observation of the church was correct. Now, as he is excited about the ministries he is in, he excitedly tells them that these leaders or ministers are “free!” He even jokes that as an Asian American that’s the “right” way.

    I am a pastor, myself. I consider myself pretty conservative and “right-wing” although I do not like that term as it tends to be used to describe political leaning of which I am appalled at these days. I more than anything else consider myself a Christian. And I have learned that as a Christian, conflict with other Christians is not healthy for the church, the glory of God, or the heart. I don’t agree with everything Chan is doing or has done. However, I think your judgment of his “sin” is not your business. You have said in comments that “he needs to repent.” That is not your decision or declaration to make. It is God’s. Even when I call upon church discipline for others, I do so not because it is my right or duty, but because the Bible calls me to. This is not church discipline. It is your opinion. It is not Biblical. You are wrong. However, me saying you are wrong or unbiblical does not make it so. Seek God.

    Micah 6:8 – He hath showed thee, O man, what is good and what doth the Lord require of thee? But to do justly, and to love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.

  50. Paul Crier 2 months ago

    I just stumbled on this article. I am from the UK, but I must first of all exclaim wow! you Americans certainly are a contentious, mouthy bunch. Fredman presented what I thought was a reasonable criticism of Francis Chan. He did not slander, he did not gossip, he did not in my opinion do it in a mean spirited way, and yet many on here are engaging in a form of character assassination of the author. the issue is that Francis Chan discredited and misrepresented his former church in a public way, and to non-believers. That needs to be addressed publically, which the author has done

  51. Teri 2 months ago

    I don’t know Francis Chan and have never been to Cornerstone Church. I did see the video you referred to where Chan addressed a group from Facebook. I did not hear him slander people in his old church for not using their gifts. Instead, I heard that in such a large church there is not always opportunities to use your gifts. This is a factual statement as I come from a megachurch. We are always encouraged to use our gifts to serve the Lord. However, there are often not enough opportunities for everyone to use their gifts unless your gifts invlovle children’s ministry. Many of the numerous staff at the church fill positions in which your gifts may lie. There is also a trend of making use of younger members at the expense of older members in many volunteer positions. So there are a number of people from the congregation who don’t serve at the church because there are not enough opportunities. Not everyone has a gift for children’s ministry. What Chan did not address is that if there are no opportunities to serve at your megachurch, there are other ways to make use of your spiritual hosts outside of “church.” You can use your spiritual gifts in your home, job, school, community etc. However, tsometimes my megachurch makes people feel guilty for not serving at their church even though there is no opportunities for them to serve. Again, not everyone has a gift for children’s ministry which seems to be the largest area of opportunity.

  52. Randy Huddleston 2 months ago

    I served in a small Southern Baptist congregation as Pastor or 12+ years and felt led to walk away. I had no other churches calling and no plan beyond God’s call to walk away. I joined another church and served as a layman for 5 years before returning to interim at several churches before once again pastoring. If you are saying that for a pastor to leave without having another church lined up is wrong that concerns me.
    I cannot imagine any circumstances under which I would be inclined to be critical, especially publicly, of my former church however.

  53. Author
    Fredman 2 months ago

    Randy writes,
    – If you are saying that for a pastor to leave without having another church lined up is wrong that concerns me.-

    No. I am not necessarily saying that. I have no idea what your reasons for leaving your church were. I would imagine that if pressed a bit, there is much more to your situation than just a whimsical feeling one morning. My point is that a faithful pastor does not all of the sudden feel led to leave his congregation without any discernible direction to head into. That was Francis.

    If a man is having a struggle with his leadership or lacks the support of his people after all avenues attempting to better the situation fail, then by all means, resign. But to bathe ones problems in spiritually fluffy jargon of “I feel God calling me elsewhere” as if you are somehow more in tune with God’s will than everyone else, is just dishonest. That is what Francis did. He didn’t even try to stay and pastor the people according to his new convictions. He just bailed.

  54. Scott wilson 2 months ago

    Actually- what Francis says is DEAD ON ACCURATE. It’s biblical and he speaks from the heart…. stop trying To slander him and misidentify his motives…..

    “Nice” SUPPORT THIS MINISTRY advertisement; by the way….

    • Author
      Fredman 2 months ago

      – what Francis says is DEAD ON ACCURATE.-

      Really? And you know this how?

  55. Ken 2 months ago

    I enjoy detailed breakdown of Scripture; its historical and literary context and the translation of the manuscripts, including the origins of the English root words we use in our readings of the Bible, combine to form one of the most edifying things in my life. And trying to put Jesus’s teachings into the context of redemptive history, it seems like the two most important things to take from all the rich text is that Jesus is the almighty Creator God and that we should love all. In His walk as a man, He seemed to demonstrate being a compassionate servant, tirelessly feeding, healing, and teaching others.

    Today, in the western world’s economic system, charitable donations drive compassionate missions and activity. And, in my opinion most importantly, the Holy Spirit drives donors and workers to help the (physically) perishing.

    Thanks be to God for some of the things Chan taught us through his actions and his challenging words.

    One thing that seemed inspiring was that half the Cornerstone budget was provided to the (materially) poor. And Chan mentioned the challenge of giving half of his family’s pay to the (materially) poor.

    In Florida, we attended a church whose pastor spoke about a middle class (materially) family he knew that gave half of their pay to their church.

    Financial contributions to humanitarian causes have enabled a long line of volunteers and workers to provide, distribute, and/or administer basic things US church goers often take for granted. Food, water, basic medicine, clothing, and shelter to the (materially) poor is but one physical gesture driven by the Holy Spirit to spread God’s Love, that same Love to which all expository preaching rightfully clings.

  56. Emilee M 2 months ago

    I really didn’t like this article. The writer is extremely transparent. Why not just write ” I don’t like Francis, and I’m going to talk down on every aspect of the ministry God has entrusted with him” .. The writer sounds like a jealous competitor or someone that has been turned off or offended by Chan. I was looking for legit information but all I found was bits and pieces of an uninteresting story.

  57. Dawn 2 months ago

    Fredman,

    I just read this entire thread after listening to a sermon by Alister Begg on False Faith. In it, he implores us to look at our fruit because it will disclose the nature of our salvation. I have taken a hard look at myself, and Yes I come up short in many areas. I suggest that you do the same. Your hatred and contempt for Francis Chan is front and center and shows like low-hanging fruit for all to see, but you! The Lord warns us that pride comes before the fall. After every comment on here, you refuse to listen to other brothers and sisters in Christ, constantly defending and arguing your position as if you are ALWAYS right.

    You go on and on with your OPINION, while largely ignoring Scripture provided by your fellows in Christ, which makes your comments sound foolish at best. The Lord never instructs us to speak out of our own wisdom but instead instructs us in 2 Timothy 3:16:

    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” And many of your fellow Christians have done this, but you ignore God’s wisdom.

    God says in Proverbs 11:14: For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.
    He says in Proverbs 12:15: The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.
    He says in Proverbs 13:10: Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
    He says in Proverbs 24:6: Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.
    He says in Isiah 55:8: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    For true wisdom in this, perhaps you could now go look at the following scriptures that have been posted by your brothers & sisters in Christ on here and stop following your own wisdom:

    1 Cor. 9 1 Tim 5:17-18 1 Cor 9:14 Gal 2:11-14 Matt 19 Matt 18:15-17 Rev 3:14-21 Eze 16:14
    Eze 33:31 Isa 57:17 Isa 58:5-14 Jer 6:13 Jer 8:10 Matt 5:42 Matt 6:24 Mark 7:20-23
    Luk 6:39 Luk 12:33 1 John 3:16-18 Jam 1:22 Jam 2:14-18 Eph 5:3-5 Gal 5:19-21 Tit 1:16
    Col 3:5 Mic 6:8

    Now, you could argue with me, but you would be arguing with God because I am simply quoting Scripture, not interpreting it.

    My prayers are for your continued growth

    Dawn

    • Jason A Schnur 3 weeks ago

      Dawn,

      But that you would show as much compassion for the objects of Chan’s lies. Fellow BROTHERS and SISTERS in CHRIST. I guess they don’t matter because you haven’t read their books, right?

  58. Ryan 2 months ago

    Way to “make a man an offender for a word” brother!

    I hope you felt the fruits of the Spirt: Love, joy, peace, … gentleness, goodness, faith while you were writing it.

  59. Steph 2 months ago

    It’s so sad that a fellow member of the body of faith couldn’t use his platform to unite rather than divide the body of Christ. You may not agree with everything Francis Chan has to say but maybe your time would be better spent building up rather than tearing down? When someone gives their life to draw people to Jesus, they shouldn’t have to face criticism from fellow belivers like this…that does everything BUT encourage and edify those in the faith that have been moved by how God has used Francis Chan. Find ways to use your audience to draw people to Jesus…let that be your focus…go make disciples!

  60. Les 2 months ago

    Fredman,

    Did Francis use the expression “a bunch of spiritually lazy bums” or was it you that said that? Perhaps Francis is realizing that Jesus’ followers were never mean to be in “Mega” churches? How can 5,000 people edify one another? The pattern of the early church was that they met in each other homes. Was church (a congregation of believers) meant to purchase buildings and work jobs to support the expense of operating those facilities? The command is to forsake all and follow Jesus. The only way to support the current idea of what being a follower of Jesus is to have a job and give your money. But Jesus said we can’t serve God and money.

  61. Charles Stanley 1 month ago

    It seems to me that if Cornerstone Church was not the church he thought it should be, he has only himself to blame since he is the one that founded it and developed it into the type of church it is. If he was unhappy about it maybe he should have considered how he could lead it in a different direction. As I understand the thrust of Pastor Chan’s ministry now, he is committed to making disciples who will make disciples and starting churches that will multiply churches. That is opposed to the mega-church model that he created. Possibly leaving and trying to develop a more discipleship making model was best for Cornerstone Church that would be going through the throes of major change in order to meet with his new understanding of ministry.

    • ktrayer 1 month ago

      Having seen many who hold in high esteem the teachings of Francis Chan, I can understand the thrust of this article. The response should be that of cautiousness toward following the celebrity pastor model and expected infallibility of any man. No one is perfect. The statements by Pastor Chan toward his former congregation could/should have been directed more carefully, or not all. They have apparently done some damage. Thank you Charles Stanley, you speak from wisdom of trials and experience.

  62. Anil 1 month ago

    I see a “Support Our Ministry” button urging a financial donation at the bottom of this page.
    Ministry?? Really? Your article ministered to no one and you should repent for falsely accusing Francis Chan of “lying”.
    I was very sad to read it and amazed at the number of Christians who tried to gently correct you but you were blind to their words.

    • Jason A Schnur 3 weeks ago

      Anil,
      You obviously didn’t read it, or go to the links included or you could not possibly come away with a belief that Chan did not lie. Chan lied. It is simple and straightforward. “Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” How much more false could this be? This article, should it ever get to his computer, will hopefully minister to Chan, and he will repent of his wickedness and turn back to Christ.

  63. Eunice 1 month ago

    I am amazed at how you decided to write an entire blog post stating all of your opinions and assumptions about Francis Chan’s decision. I can understand that you didn’t agree with his decision, but the tone of your words sound as if you are cynical and demeaning. If you are a follower of Jesus, and I am, and Francis Chan is, I would expect and consider a more gracious approach to your disapproval of Chan’s decision. After all, we are the Universal Church.

  64. Richard 1 month ago

    the article seems harsh and pointed to me, I understand that what he has done and is doing as a pastor has offended you. I would encourage forgiveness. I try not to speak against a pastor or brother who has confessed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and has or is bearing fruit for the kingdom. Just because he or she is called to something different to me doesn’t mean that isn’t God. I see a whole generation of beliers that are disenchanted with the modern day church and can see this new take on the church may actually provide them a home that my old fashioned church will never fulfill. but enough of my opinion. “judge not least ye be judged” “touch not my anointed”
    my 2 cents

    • Jason A Schnur 3 weeks ago

      Richard,

      “Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor.” That one’s in there too. What do you do with that one?

  65. Sam 1 month ago

    There was little to no positive or constructive material in this article, and to judge a believer/community’s “seriousness” by their clothing is unspeakably evil; and aligned with the hypocritical doctrines that the religious leaders judged Jesus by. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.

  66. Tanner 1 month ago

    Fredman, from a doctrinal perspective, what is FC doing wrong and what is he doing right … in your opinion?

  67. Brad 4 weeks ago

    You had my interest right up to the comment about his congregation “showing up for church dressed like they just rolled out of bed’ and your reference to Chan dressing in faded jeans and a tee shirt. Please reference the Gospel passage that lists salvation-earning dress….CLICK!

  68. Joe 4 weeks ago

    The author of this article sounds very envious and jealous of Francis Chan. Sad.

  69. Anil 3 weeks ago

    @Fredman, @Jason Shnur and All,

    Here are some Francis Chan videos that better explain his church model and why he left his megachurch.

    Megachurch can’t be the goal of the future
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm8CbYDv3kQ

    Rethinking Church
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTuj_QcrE6E

    Rethinking Outreach
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP5mepLMSTc

    Anil

    • Author
      Fredman 2 weeks ago

      – Here are some Francis Chan videos that better explain his church model and why he left his megachurch.-

      I’m completely aware of Franci’s church models. I know for a fact that he did NOT leave his church to pursue a more biblical church model. All of those videos are spin after the fact.

      There are a number of factors as to why he left, but one of the biggest is that Crazy Love propelled him in to the stratosphere of celebrity and he wanted more freedom to travel about guest speaking all over the world. Tethered to a church as the pastor hindered his ambitions, so he appealed to a “vision quest” from God to leave.

  70. Richard Mellick 3 weeks ago

    As with sin so it goes in matters like these in our christian lives. There is no imbalance nor need to bother comparing. Even when the amount or severity of one is recognized by man as much greater than the other, by God’s standard, they are absolutely equal. They look the same, they sound the same, they have the same unsavory aroma and both are equally distasteful. BUT.. In an attempt to clarify what everyone here is reading allow me to submit the following:
    Whether it is pastor Chan’s poor decision to make public his personal feelings and comments of what he seen and recognized firsthand (not to mention also largely responsible for) concerning the spiritual condition at the very church he was instrumental in planting. Or if it is secondhand referencing by a (self-named) bible thumping wingnut named fredmam blogging his derogatory remarks and personal feelings. Which, incidently, themselves fall in the same categories of “attacks” and “slander” of both the proffessionalism and the person of pastor Chan.

    Both being made publicly to, at best a mixed crowd of believer and unbeliever, for that low court known as the court of public opinion to cast the unbiblical brand of judgement and in no way similar to what should be done when a brother “stumbles” or “strays” in love and kindness. It is in no way similar to what is known (but seldom put to practice properly in todays church) as implementing church discipline.
    God will judge and reward His justice both equally and in good measure as they each deserve. Until that time we would all do well to open our bibles and remind ourselves of what it truly means to walk out our own salvation with fear and trembling. To love and obey God, keep His commandments, love the brethren with patience, kindness etc. What the bible says and what it means to not sue a brother or sister.
    Remind ourselves what it truly means to be of one body, to ask ourselves who are we to decide what is and what isn’t sin, or to determine that sin’s rightful punishment of another one of God’s creations made in His own likeness.. a fellow christian (miniature Christs).
    Honestly, this mess is no less than dishonor or blasphemy of God.. taking His name in vain! I mean really by all implication, whether it is the public trial/accusations of christians at cornerstone community church or pastor Chan this would be the same as attempting to sue God!

    With love let me suggest to everyone that your personal thoughts and comments concerning your fellow man mean nothing to anyone else.. that is of course with the exception of you and Jesus. If it’s worthy of comment or action Im confident He will let you know upon His return.

    • Bill Eames 3 weeks ago

      Amen!

  71. Bill Eames 3 weeks ago

    The problem is, that rather than just call out Francis Chan for supposedly being a ‘liar’, you’ve caked this article with crap that has no bearing on your main point other than to display YOUR OWN dislikes about him.

    Chan isn’t the only one who has lessons to learn here, it’s hard to respect the article when the author shows a lack of respect himself.

    This isn’t calling out his sins, it’s just an excuse to bash Francis Chan.

    Maybe write him a letter…

  72. Brandon Moore 3 weeks ago

    Wow. So much hatred and “throwing under the bus” of a fellow Christian in this article I couldn’t even finish it. Remove the beam from thine own eye first, no?

  73. Anil 2 weeks ago

    Apparently Francis’ talk was to a Christian Bible study group at Facebook, not a group of unbelievers.
    From the facebook post:
    “Katie Noelle Delgado · 13:30 Chad, yes. This was put on by our Christian@FB group to host him here at Facebook and to hear from him. We were allowed to bring one +1 guest to join.”

    Here is a video form Francis around the same time where he explains how he was trying to get his life better aligned with the word
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWCENY3tjGQ

  74. Nancy 2 weeks ago

    Mr. Fredman,

    I ran across your article through my mere Google search of ‘Crazy Love’, which I am currently reading. I like to perform diligent research and have well-informed perspectives about the authors I find myself reading., and I figured a controversial article and thread does some justice to that.

    First off, I am grateful for the Spirt in you that seeks truth, and even more grateful that you are relentless in pursuing it without fear. From a millennial’s perspective, I think my generation has often times validates notions of truth, which eradicates the whole – so thank you for your spirit and I pray that as you seek more truth, you’d fall even more in love with the One who embodies that.

    While I do not have questions to send your way, presumably because the comments section has already done so, I do have a few thoughts that I hope you will consider. I wanted to honor you, your time, and your space, so I read through as many comments, as well as your responses as I possibly could to capture a more holistic view of where you are coming from. If I am being honest, I couldn’t fully get through all of them and I prayed even more fervently when I scrolled. With that being said, my first thought lead me to Ephesians 4:2-3 (ESV) “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”. As I mentioned before, your Spirit to seek truth is encouraging, and in addition to that, I would encourage ,also, for a Spirit of unity. As I read through your responses, I felt so weary by them! I can only imagine the numerous questions, critiques and such coming about your way, so it’s amazing that you’ve been able to address them in the manner you have, but it comes off as with abrasiveness that isn’t seeking for peace. Like I mentioned, I did not read the entire comments you posted (and I do sincerely apologize for that), but the more I kept reading, the more uneasy I kept feeling about it. I believe you walk in light with the Lord, so please don’t misunderstand what I am saying; I am also acknowledging that these is a pressure for responses to be churned out, concerns to be addressed, and pressing matters to be dealt with on this thread – but all of our calling is to God, then to each other. I want to highlight your boldness, which I deeply admire, but we are also in fellowship with each other. While it may not be our best friends commenting with what we want to hear, we are called to maintain unity. The comments section can be a place of healing, clarity, and redemption. And to be honest, it’s your blog 🙂 so have fun! Jesus was filled with joy and we also can partake in that – especially when we are addressing the tough issues.

    Further, I agree with sections of your analysis on Mr. Chan shepherding – especially a warning to fellow believers to not follow what you are critiquing. Where I also want to offer up some of my humble thoughts are to acknowledge that Mr. Chan, like every single one of us, is broken. This brokenness does not excuse us from the calling of Christ, however, it does shed light on that fact that we are that much more in need of grace, patience, and love. Like Paul called Peter out (and I am the biggest fan of Peter), Paul sought for unity! We see that Paul admired Peter, and even established credibility through Peter – not because of anything Peter had accomplished, but because of what Jesus had already done. Peter, as we know, gets reconciled before a risen Jesus three times marking him as the cleansed and forgiveness. Paul works out of this understanding: knowing that Jesus has acknowledged sin for what it is, but was gracious and eager to forgive Peter. When it did come for Paul to call out racism, Paul did, but it was to correct and seek reconciliation. One of your comments said that since Mr. Chan publicly called out a church, it was within your right to also call him out publicly. That may be so and within your jurisdiction, but I thought it was worth mentioning that there wasn’t a clear message that you had forgiven him or given him the choice to seek forgiveness. In the comment you wrote (paraphrased) even if you did send him a message privately, he’d probably brush it aside or say “thanks”! Jesus gives us a beautiful picture when He goes to Peter, after being rejected, that He is in the business of allowing people to choose Him. This is the model of love we are called to witness to and act out of. Even if the world rejects you (in this case, Mr. Chan) the Lord will take you up. Ultimately, all that we do is not for others but comes from what God has already done for us.

    I hope that my two thoughts, (1) to seek unity, and (2) to seek forgiveness and reconciliation, brings you closer to the Holy One. Of course, I do pray whatever I stated that was not from the Lord does not take root in your heart. Thank you for your words, your boldness to speak the Gospel, and your wisdom to understand.

    Cheers,
    Nancy

  75. Edward Bolduc 2 weeks ago

    Francis is right on time. Paul work for his money and turn the world upside down. I do believe that if a minister is in financial trouble we are to help them but that goes for the saints too if they be in trouble we are to help them. too. I run meetings on Monday nights and Wednesday nights , Also a home fellowship on Saturdays and work a full time job. Any money collected goes right back into the ministry and helping each other out . I beleive that the structure lay out by Francis Chan is good and will grow.

  76. Shaun 1 week ago

    We must stay in the vine….all I read is a bunch of “sour grapes”!!!!

    GET REAL!!!

  77. Jerry 1 week ago

    Was Christs sacrifice enough to cover all of our sins including Chan? Yes. How many times do we forgive? Every time. Are any of us fully sanctified? No. Are all Facebook employees non-believers? We cannot judge hearts. Are there unbelievers reading this article? Yes. Are we to reject the world and be Spirit led? Yes. Are fruits a sign we are born again? Yes. Are we to ne accusers? No. Have you personally sought a discussion with the one you accuse? Does not sound like it. Does any of this honor our Lord? Sounds like grumbling. Does any of this give good testimony to the world? Probably not. Could we be spreading the Gospel to a perishing generation instead of this? You decide. Thank you for you passion, thank you for concern of the “Church”. Remember how wretched we all are compared to Gods glory. Be light in a dark world. Peace, unity, and love. We know we are His by our love for one another.

  78. Joshua 1 week ago

    Interesting. I read the article and I read many of the comments. I do agree that the nature of this article is a little snarky in its attitude towards Chan. I also agree that Chan does in fact have some questionable and at times contradictory teachings/perceptions. I agree that from what I’ve gathered I don’t really see Chan’s initial reasons for leaving the church as valid. I agree that there seems to have been a more honorable and caring way for him to handle the things he explained regarding the church. I also agree that some of the ways he explained it to the people at Facebook could have been inappropriate.

    I disagree that God might call someone to wander or to the wilderness in search of His will without much clear direction or explanation. I also disagree with the point you took away from the meeting…he Seems more like he was trying to use his personal experience as a means of explaining a common frustration/contradiction unbelievers see with people who profess to be Christian.

    The main reason I write all of this though is that I disagree in your approach of correction. While I agree Chan should be confronted publicly, it should be done while he is present and then broadcasted/shared. As a pastor, speaking about it with people in your own church or from your own pulpit as a means of shepherding your own flock would definitely be an acceptable way for you to address this issue with those God has you presiding over.

    God has not called you to preside over the Internet. Nor do I believe He called you to public correct Chan on said internet as you have chosen to do. You are obviously not in a the right position to do so. Otherwise this would not simply be an article but would be a video streamed on television or YouTube of you talking it over with Him.

    This article seems more like a man outletting his frustrations than a man truly attempting to correct a fellow brother in love. I do hope you are a little more careful in the future when you think about writing something like this.

  79. Z 5 days ago

    Wow, I am amazed at this article. I for one like Francis, I like his teachings and sermons. The gospel is love, which calls us to do crazy things in this complacent world. I understand completely what Frances was saying about the church, because most American churches are like this! We don’t get to experience real church because we are to consumed with stuff and life, that we forget about what it means to be a disciple maker. Jesus said, I come with a sword to separate mother from their children. Frances understand that heaven is our home and if he felt led to uproot his family and seek Gods will, because that is what he felt God was telling him to do, who are you to judge him. You sound a litter bitter, and you might need to check your own heart, before you go calling someone else out. Furthermore, this article is a perfect example of everything the body of Christ should not be. This is why the world looks at Christian like hypocrites, because of hypocritical thinking like this. READ THE BIBLE PEOPLE, LET THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACH YOU WHAT YOU CLEARLY DO NOT KNOW.

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